Derner's Doctoral Program has changed to enhance student preparedness for internship and professional practice.
By J. Christopher Muran, Ph.D.
The Doctoral Program at the Adelphi University’s Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies has been undergoing numerous renovations, enhancing the training of the current students and incoming students, and increasing their preparedness for internship and professional practice.
A new curriculum was recently approved by the University Faculty Senate after a long process within the Institute involving active participation by both students and faculty. It includes content organized by foundational, research and clinical courses that better meet the requirements of NYS and APA and the current demands of the field, while still providing for content that continues the distinctly unique Derner tradition. Its structure is sequential, cumulative and graded in complexity. Research and clinical practicum training experiences are integrated with the academic course sequences. It also allows for more clinical electives in the third and fourth years, as well as more time for dissertation research.
New interview process
We have established two interview days which begin with a one-hour orientation to the program and then include an individual and group interview, as well as a luncheon where applicants can meet current students and faculty. We have also created a new protocol for evaluating applicants.
New technology for the clinic
We have been funded to establish a technologically-based assessment infrastructure for our clinic. Over the next few months, all of our clinic studious will be set with video-recording capabilities and equipped with PC tablets to collect phenomenological data. We will be able to store all recorded and self-report data on a secure network server. This will have a significant impact on how we conduct supervision, and will also create great opportunities for conducting research.
New externship protocol
As part of the new curriculum, we have added hospital placements for a second-year, eight-hour-per-week externship, most of which are inpatient settings, all with exposure to the seriously mentally ill. We have established affiliation agreements with Beth Israel Medical Center and Bronx Psychiatric Center to arrange these placements. In the third-year, students will pursue a 16-hour-per-week outpatient externship. These placements will better prepare our students for the internship match.
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